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Dining on the move - Prototype Information. - The Prototype. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Mon Jan 28th, 2019 07:25 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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In Barry M's recent video looking at his Bromsgrove N gauge layout, he quite rightly complained that the major RTR manufacturers have passed over the various BR catering vehicles in favour of a catch-all "Restaurant Car".  No doubt there are kits or new-sides-for-old-coaches offerings but for the majority of us who's construction skills are limited, this may not be a help.  (Maybe that last sentance sums up the way a lot of us have gravitated as a result of the many and wonderful RTR offerings!!)

Anyway, I thought I would share a list I put together for my own benefit some time ago when trying to unravel the mysteries of catering vehicles on British Railways (I was looking at the 1950/60 era and appreciate that this list is incorrect outside that window).

British Railways adopted the LNER system of coach description and listed the catering vehicles thus;

RG  Restaurant Griddle  Also described in some lists as a RE but I cannot identify what the "E" may have stood for.   The Griddle provided a counter service for hot food and an example is still in use on the Great Central preserved railway.

RK  Restaurant Kitchen  A kitchen in a coach without a servery but possibly seats for a wait-at-table service

RKB  Restaurant Kitchen Buffet  As above but with a servery providing light snacks etc.  The coach provided no seats.  The facilities in the kitchen appear to be more complex than those in the Griddle and so this kitchen could produce whole meals rather than just a fried breakfast.

RM  Restaurant Miniature  This is where it gets very confusing - this is a simpler kitchen than the RK but clearly with more facilities than the Griddle.  Clearly this is a Government operation!!

RMB  Restaurant Miniature Buffet  Non seating version of the RM - more confusion.

RU  Restaurant Unclassified  The RU provided just seats for diners and mixed 1st and 2nd class passengers who must have shared the same menu one presumes.  No doubt used on shorter services where catering was provided.  A Kitchen vehicle would have had to been attached.

RF(O)  Restaurant First (Open)  A dining space exclusively for 1st class diners.  I cannot find picture of non-open dining coaches.  Bachmann make an RFO is various liveries in OO gauge - (see my thread on passengers, food etc)

RS(O)  Restaurant Second (Open)  Second class version of the above but photgraphic evidence I have suggests that an RU frequently served alongside an RFO for the plebs.

RB Restaurant Buffet A simple buffet coach similar to those we are familiar with today.  Tea, coffee and a curly cheese sandwich all for a price that makes you wince!


This is a wonderful subject made more complex, the more you delve into it.  These catering vehicles cost more to produce than standard stock so their expected service life was longer.  It is therefore quite probable that the catering vehicle will be the oldest vehicle in your train.  (My Inter District sets comprise "modern" Mk I coaches but with a Gresley catering vehicle to make this point).  It is also very feasible that the catering vehicles were marshalled at one end of the train, not in the middle as we are all prone to do - they were dropped off at a suitable station from, say, a Northbound train once they had been used (where replenishment took place) and then added onto a return Southbound working later in the day.  Having them at the end of a formation made this easier.

The provision of catering was driven by the timing and/or clientele and/or duration of the service.  It is quite likely that a morning "Businessmens" train would have comprised 5 or 6 coaches, one of which provided catering.  Very few long-distance express workings would have run without catering of some ilk - even the holiday/excursion trains would have had a buffet.

Hope that's useful.  If you know more about a particular type of coach, please feel free to chip in - all information welcome.

Barry

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 Posted: Mon Jan 28th, 2019 09:31 pm
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Marty
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Useful info Barry. Bravo.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 29th, 2019 06:00 am
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SRman
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There was an April edition of the old Model Railway Constructor (I can't remember which year) where they published plans for the British Rail Toasted Teacake. It also referred to a visiting Roumanian expert called Doctor Faizelika Bakkova-Buss.

:mutley :mutley


Then there was the Two Ronnies news item: British Rail have announced that the price of their coffee is to go up by 5p a slice.

:cheers



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 Posted: Tue Jan 29th, 2019 06:44 am
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MaxSouthOz
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:mutley



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 Posted: Tue Jan 29th, 2019 09:23 am
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Barchester
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Many moons ago when I were a ladd and worked for BR, one of the early morning jobs was to walk the line from Temple Meads to the wash plant to check detergent levels and check nothing was frozen. Walking the line you would often see the half eaten remains of a BR sandwich that had been launched out the window. The same sandwich would often remain, untouched for over a week , Yup even the rats and seagulls steered clear ! !
:hmm

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 Posted: Tue Jan 29th, 2019 12:03 pm
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BCDR
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BR breakfast in the Hull Pullman diner in the 1970's.  The full Monty. 
Nigel




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